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The Responsible Entrepreneur: Four Game-Changing Archetypes for Founders, Leaders, and Impact Investors Hardcover – July 14, 2014
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Winner, Business: Entrepreneurship & Small Business, 2014 International Book Awards
“When I founded Joie De Vivre, I wanted to change an industry. You do that by connecting to the lives of people who buy from you. As Carol Sanford says, responsibility also starts with something big enough to change an industry that transforms people’s lives. The stories and guidance in The Responsible Entrepreneur make responsibility come alive.”
—Chip Conley, author, Emotional Equations and Peak; head of global hospitality, Airbnb; and founder, Joie de Vivre Hospitality
“If our society is not only to survive but also to flourish we will need a generation of entrepreneurs who are fully aware of the fragility, complexity, and interconnectedness of the world and committed to building outstandingly successful businesses. In this passionate and inspiring book, Carol Sanford presents the stories of a wide range of entrepreneurs who are mastering this tension, and presents an actionable road map for everyone who is determined to follow in their footsteps.”
—Rebecca Henderson, John & Natty McArthur University Professor and cochair, Business & Environment Initiative, Harvard Business School
“Through Seventh Generation’s work with Carol Sanford, we learned the value of systems thinking, and her frameworks made us a more effective business and helped me become a better values-based leader. The approach in The Responsible Entrepreneur makes it possible for people in our company to be more conscious and work from a commitment to a higher set of values.”
—Jeffrey Hollender, founder, Sustain; cofounder, Seventh Generation; and coauthor, The Responsibility Revolution
“Graduate students aspire to make big changes in the world and strongly prefer to create their own path forward. Carol Sanford speaks directly to the current generation. She gives lessons and inspiration on finding the uniqueness in themselves to play a large role in the world. The Responsible Entrepreneur contains powerful stories, half from female entrepreneurs who have contributed to a better world, as well as stories of women of color. It is perfectly suited to the new generation of entrepreneurs and the people who coach and teach them.”
—Kellie A. McElhaney, Whitehead Faculty Fellow, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, and author, Just Good Business
“Carol Sanford says this book is about being responsible, and it is—but The Responsible Entrepreneur is also about being courageous. I dare you to read it and implement the bold,useful advice.”
—Chris Guillebeau, author, The $100 Startup
“The Responsible Entrepreneur is for people who create enterprises that create good work in the world. Carol Sanford, an extremely experienced member of that movement, has written a book that puts its leading figures in context, and helps you realize that you’re in it with them.”
—Art Kleiner, editor-in-chief, strategy+business, and author, The Age of Heretics
“The Responsible Entrepreneur is an inspiring book that tells us how to be the kind of entrepreneur that the world needs today. Carol Sanford tells vivid, compelling stories of what it means to be a successful businessperson and at the same time fundamentally change the world for the better. If every entrepreneur, aspiring entrepreneur, and entrepreneurship educator read this book, the world couldn’t help but be a better place!”
— Pamela Hinds, associate professor, Department of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University
“Several decades ago, Peter Drucker declared that we were entering the Entrepreneurial Society. Carol Sanford’s book The Responsible Entrepreneur spells out in concrete terms what it will take to make that a life-enhancing reality with responsible entrepreneurs who, instead of working within the system or even despite the system, transform industries and society itself.”
— Stephen Denning, author, The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management, and contributor, Forbes
“Entrepreneurship is a way of thinking about opportunities. Carol Sanford offers frameworks to improve this thinking process based on different situations, making it possible for you, the entrepreneur, to be more creative and focused and do what you know in your gut to be right. The Responsible Entrepreneur makes clear that you’re in charge of the vision for your venture.”
— Connie Bourassa-Shaw, director, Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, Michael G. Foster Business School, University of Washington
“Businesses are arising all over the world that are designed as solutions to the biggest problems we face as human beings. The Responsible Entrepreneur looks deeply at these game-changing entrepreneurs and finds a pattern. Carol Sanford provides a systemic approach to intervention based on the concept of regeneration. It is worth spending time with The Responsible Entrepreneur and reflecting on it again and again.”
—Kevin Jones, cofounder, SoCap
“Being an entrepreneur is a challenge in any field. Trying to change the world through your business is an even more demanding one. Carol Sanford has given us an instruction manual that is clear and documented with case studies of people who have taken on the impossible and succeeded. You will be inspired to action and raise the level of contribution you see possible for you and your business.”
— Elliot Hoffman, founder and CEO, Just Desserts, and founder and CEO, True Market Solutions
“The Responsible Entrepreneur is one of those books that shifts the conversation. Carol Sanford provides entrepreneurs with a clearly articulated, eminently applicable framework for thought and action that will help them create businesses that—in the words of Steve Jobs—‘put a dent in the universe.’ If you want to build a business that will make the world a better place, The Responsible Entrepreneur should be your guidebook.”
— Erika Anderson, founder and partner, Proteus, and author, Leading So People Will Follow
“Entrepreneurs seeking meaningful impact need tools to be successful in their quest. The Responsible Entrepreneur is a necessary handbook for changemakers on the journey to use their businesses to shape a future that is healthier and more satisfying for everyone.”
—KoAnn Skrzyniarz, founder and CEO, Sustainable Brands
“By viewing leaders through archetypal lenses, Carol provides helpful tools for categorization without limiting the unique strengths of any individual entrepreneur. The Responsible Entrepreneur is not for the well intentioned but for those who believe the problems we face demand better, more thoughtful, more scalable, and ultimately more human companies that create remarkable value for every stakeholder.”
— Brian Howe, founder and CEO, Impact Hub Seattle; founder, Vox Legal; and entrepreneur-in-residence, University of Washington
“While each of us aspires to make a dent, most of us work where dreams and innovations are crushed. With The Responsible Entrepreneur, you can change all that and not just build a better widget or a better company, but a better world.”
— Nilofer Merchant, author, 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era
“Carol Sanford introduced us to regenerative business design three decades ago—building a business based on living systems thinking that gives us systemic health. Now she tells entrepreneurs how to be big gamechangers in the world of responsible entrepreneurship with disruptive transformation of industries that all businesses can achieve—making the world a better place in the process.”
— Hunter Lovins, president, Natural Capitalism Solutions, and professor, sustainable management, Bainbridge Graduate Institute
“Responsible entrepreneurs are a rare but growing breed. The difficult challenge is staying true to our values and having the tenacity to stick with it. Thank you, Carol Sanford! Your book provides me with a great roadmap to continue moving forward with others who share our passion and vision.”
— Barbara Kimmel, executive director, Trust Across America, Trust Around the World
“Carol Sanford’s totally original, powerful framework will push entrepreneurs to ask questions that matter—and in turn, inspire them to unleash their full potential.”
—P. J. Simmons, cofounder and chair, Corporate Eco Forum
“Carol Sanford has produced a profound but simple framework for understanding and unleashing entrepreneurial talent. Offering unique insight into four types of entrepreneurship and the domains in which they provide the most leverage, The Responsible Entrepreneur will feed the entrepreneurial spirit and catalyze it toward more meaningful impact in the world.”
— Lara Lee, SVP, customer experience design, Lowe’s Home Improvement, and former VP, Harley-Davidson
“In this era of growing disparity between the very rich and the rest of us, Carol Sanford provides a visionary yet practical path for how four iconic kinds of responsible entrepreneurs can be the creators of opportunity and a rising tide to lift more boats. Her explicit call for a transformation framework inspires me to play a role in this needed change. You, too, will be moved to participate and make your life’s work more meaningful.”
— Kare Anderson, columnist, Forbes, and author, Moving From Me to We
“Carol Sanford is as much a systems changer as the entrepreneurs she illustrates. The Responsible Entrepreneur offers a rational and highly accessible framework to cultivate self-awareness, entrepreneurial spirit, and the agency needed to bring about a systemic shift. By grounding her theories in story and practical application, this book is not only valuable but enjoyable.”
—Matthew Abrams, vision keeper, Mycelium
“Carol Sanford understands the importance and the urgency of embedding a social compass into your business from the first napkin sketch. More important, she shows you how to do it. If you want to look back at your business five to ten years from now and say ‘we did this the right way,’ The Responsible Entrepreneur is your bible.”
—John Bradberry, author, 6 Secrets to Startup Success
“The Responsible Entrepreneur is packed with insight. Like Jane Jacobs, Carol Sanford offers observations from real life about how successful businesses and organizations actually work, without gloss, hype, or baloney. She brings a much bigger picture to enterprise.”
—Spencer B. Beebe, chairman, Ecotrust
From the Inside Flap
“Individuals, acting on deeply held beliefs and passion, are boldly imagining and bringing into existence a different world…. Whether you’re a business entrepreneur, a social entrepreneur, an investment entrepreneur, or an academic, artistic, or civil servant entrepreneur, devour this important and wise book.”
—From the Foreword by John Fullerton
Responsible entrepreneurs are a special breed, seeking to transform industries and even society itself. They challenge and refine cultural assumptions, laws, regulations, and even the processes of governance. This requires them to do and think far beyond what is usually required of business leaders.
The Responsible Entrepreneur offers a blueprint for this new kind of business leadership, describing the means by which any entrepreneur can pursue a higher order of work. In it, Carol Sanford, one of the most trusted names in responsible business development, brings her vast expertise in helping executives and corporations to the entrepreneur looking to launch and scale a venture. She maps this journey through four archetypes:
- The Realization Entrepreneur: Industry Game Changer
- The Reconnection Entrepreneur: Society Game Changer
- The Reciprocity Entrepreneur: Culture Game Changer
- The Regenerative Entrepreneur: Governance Game Changer
By understanding the archetype most aligned with their goals, entrepreneurs will learn how to grow their businesses into powerful platforms that can leverage change, and even change the foundations that create our most pressing problems and issues. To illustrate these principles in action, The Responsible Entrepreneur features case studies based on long-term work and in-depth interviews with leaders at Google Innovation Labs, Indigenous Designs (the primary supplier for Eileen Fisher), FishPeople (who supply Costco and Google with gourmet seafood entrees), and many more.
For entrepreneurs seeking to pursue world-changing results, or impact investors looking to align their capital with their values, The Responsible Entrepreneur provides the frameworks to build a business and to evaluate and direct investments to create the greatest benefit for all stakeholders.
For anyone who wants to make a difference in the way businesses affect the world, The Responsible Entrepreneur lays out ways to make that aspiration focused and doable.
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Top customer reviews
self check out Episode 12.
You will want to pick it up immediately!!
It gives you a very quick cliff notes history of famous entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Oprah.
This book really needs title change. When you think about a "Responsible Entrepreneur", it implies that it's about good people who are successful but also think beyond just profit. You think about people like the guys behind Ben and Jerry's and Sam Adams. Their businesses account for environmental impact and social impact. This book isn't about "Responsible Entrepreneurs", which is pretty evident when you include Steve Jobs as one of your main examples for "Responsible Entrepreneurs". Yes he was a great entrepreneur. He had vision. He had taste and he had both the perseverance and will to execute and make it into a reality. Responsible entrepreneur? He's far from it. He's a guy who's own employees fear. He makes people cry. The list goes on and I probably don't need to elaborate further. He was a great man; but a good, "responsible" entrepreneur? No. It would be better if book was just titled as "Four Game-Changing Archetypes for Founders, Leaders, and Impact Investors".
Is this book for entrepreneurs (or people who are aspiring to be)? It doesn't feel like it. It seems to cater more to someone who's into new age concepts and some anthropology around entrepreneurs; people who are content with mainly just absorbing knowledge but not really doing anything involving risk in their own lives. Again there wouldn't be anything wrong with this if weren't for the first three words in the title, which sounds like a call to arms for entrepreneurs to stop making companies that mainly produce digital versions of bread and circus.
It's just not very interesting. It's a dry read for me. I had a really hard time finishing it.
I was interested to see that, although she references the Native American origins of her archetypes, she doesn't reference the Gurdjieffian influences of her use of systematics. Actually, a good portion of the book could have come directly from J. G. Bennett's writings [for example, the claim that the 20th century was the time of the mechanistic worldview and that the 21st century is that of community]. These influences strengthen her stance, whether acknowledged or not [maybe she just felt it would be politically incorrect to reference such sources].
I'm going to go back and review her frameworks again [and skip over the examples]. There's a lot of potential depth to these frameworks, much of which probably goes over our heads on our first exposure to the frameworks.
It's worth noting that I disagree about the potential of for-profit entities in a shift between ages [I don't think they're everything]. I think if Carol were to be more liberal in her application of her worldview she'd find that the framework of money is also an artifact of the Age of Separation. But she's come a long way anyways.
The Responsible Entrepreneur is structured in four parts
1. Changing the world requires game changing roles
2. The secret structure behind the approach of four iconic entrepreneurs
3. Being the change requires a trans formative framework
4. The game of changing the game: using domains archetypes and communities of practice to foster change
Discussed a number of different locations are well known individuals of entrepreneur success. These include SteveJobs, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Larry page in a number of other success stories that are not quite as well known.
All of these stories show commitment and illustrate what the author titles the realization Entrepreneur, the re-connection Entrepreneur, the reciprocity entrepreneur and the regenerative Entrepreneur
The individuals chosen in the stories were not all well liked, but they did all achieve success. Carol Stanford, the author, has worked with a variety of large and well known companies and universities and shows how the people in the theses success stories became icons in today’s instant communication world.
This book is best digested over a number of reading days, so the messages can sink into our subconscious for interpretation.
Dr. John Hogan CHA CMHS CHE CHO